My Whisky Moment

When you discover single-malt scotch whisky, you are quickly drawn to Islay.

This small island off the west coast of Scotland is home to some of the best whiskies in the world, with nine distilleries and more on the way. Despite its tiny size (barely 25 miles long) and small population (just 3,000 people and a lot of sheep), Islay is an economic powerhouse, thanks in large part to its thriving whisky industry.

One of the most well-known distilleries on Islay is Bunnahabhain.

Pronounced “Bon’a’ha’ben”, this distillery is located on the far northeast corner of the island and has been producing whisky since 1881.

A road was only built there in the 1960s. When I visited Bunnahabhain, I have to admit that I was not impressed at first. The distillery looked run down, and the equipment seemed poorly designed. The noise of distillation made it hard to hear the guide as she showed us around.

But all of that changed when we reached the quaint shop overlooking the sea.

The tastings at a distillery typically include four or five different whiskies, but I lost count as to how many we tried that day. As we sat by the seashore, sipping some of the finest whiskies in Scotland, time seemed to stand still. I was so caught up in the moment that I didn’t even bother taking notes.

Bunnahabhain is best known for its 12-Year-Old bottling, which has been a fan favorite since 1979. Originally sold at 40%, it is now a solid 46% with no added colouring. All natural. It regularly features in ‘most favoured’ lists of bloggers. But do not stop there, when it comes to sampling the craft of the whisky blenders.

Since that visit, I’ve talked to many experienced whisky enthusiasts. We all agree that sitting on that barren coast, sampling Bunnahabhain’s amazing whiskies, is an unforgettable experience. Even now, four years later, when I’m feeling stressed out, I try to recapture that special feeling from those two enchanting hours on Islay.

So if you have the chance, take the ferry to Islay. And if you can’t make the trip, consider joining us at The Whisky Tasters, where we can introduce you to some of the amazing spirits from Bunnahabhain and other Islay distilleries.

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